Diary of an estate agent: Notting Hill

This week, a Notting Hill agent looks for an answer as to why the basement of a large home in W11 is half filled in with concrete, and a pregnant buyer looks for divine inspiration from a former vicarage
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Diary of an estate agent


I am pleased to be able to report at our “start the week” briefing that despite the current world economic woes, our market appraisals are up considerably from last year, particularly in the Notting Hill areas of W8, 11 and 14.

Foreign investors are as active as ever and our internet reach is widening abroad. We do the schedule for the week to work out who is valuing and showing houses and flats for sale and rental. Thank God it’s not raining, as everything shows so much better with a blue sky and sunshine.


After only four days on the market we receive an offer well over the asking price for a very attractive flat with fantastic views over Holland Park. The week is off to a flying start. We gear up lawyers and surveyors - only to be told late in the day that after much careful consideration, our client has decided that the apartment is too good an investment and withdraws it from the market. What a shame.


A planning meeting on marketing, and our third property surgery for our clients is confirmed, with presentations from a solicitor and an interior designer. Invitations are sent to local residents, and it seems our reputation for either interesting discussions on the property market or excellent cheese and wine is spreading, as replies come flowing in.

Other events to organise are our May charity bike ride and the Jubilee weekend street party. Facebook and Twitter are also on the agenda as we try to keep ahead of today’s technology and how it is changing traditional approaches to the property business.

We are then off to appraise a flat in Ladbroke Gardens which is being refurbished prior to renting. The views are so breathtaking over the gardens that it is difficult to concentrate on avoiding all the builders’ tools and rubble around us. We know we can rent this quickly, as the market is running at such a fast pace at the moment.


We are back at a former vicarage in W14 which is attracting a lot of attention, being a large, double-fronted, seven-bedroom house. The client we are meeting is heavily pregnant and has had to take a break before starting our viewing, as the property she just visited was so damp and smelly it has made her feel very unwell.
Family homes in W14 are very sought after so she will hopefully be able to consider this one before the patter of tiny feet is heard.


Today we are concentrating on an off-market investment property with potential for redevelopment from 3,000 to 5,500sq ft, making it one of the larger houses in W11 available for some time.

We have considerable background information from various experts and are avidly showing it to potential bidders. Our weekend bonus question is, why is the basement half filled in with concrete? One theory is that the government paid residents to fill their basements with bomb waste during the war.

The day ends back at the office for the important business - stocking up with supplies of coffee, milk and biscuits for the Saturday opening. There is always someone who wants a strong coffee on a Saturday morning.

Richard King is manager of Beaney Pearce's Notting Hill office (020 7221 9044); rking@@beaneypearce.co.uk

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